5. RUDY GAY & DEMAR DEROZAN (Raptors):
Let me get this right out there in the open: they are NOT selfish players. Does the offence slow down and/or come to a stop when they get the ball? At times, yes. With Gay shooting 37 percent and averaging 17.6 field goal attempts, and DeRozan shooting 39 percent and averaging 16.6 field goal attempts, there are a lot of concerns about the fluidity and flow of the Raptors offence. They are legitimate concerns that I'm sure Dwane Casey and his staff is spending a significant time on to address. Offensive continuity is a huge challenge on every team and is a tough habit to crack. You watch San Antonio destroy the Knicks Sunday and you see a team where the ball moves and there is incredible flow. You watch the Miami Heat on most nights and the ball and player movement is picturesque. The Raptors have a ways to go to get there but they can. Both Gay and DeRozan are guys that love to probe and attack the defence with the dribble which I'm cool with. The area that both need to improve upon is identifying when to dribble it, pass it or shoot it, and they need to decide a whole lot quicker before the defence gangs up on them and their four teammates become spectators. Be decisive. The idea of using four, five, six, evenseven dribbles to create a shot when the other four guys on your team stand and watch and your opponent loads up on you forcing lower percentage shots has to be a no-no. Both are very talented offensive players that can get big numbers on their own and yet more importantly can, and know how to, do it within the confines of a more structured offence. I talk every night to coaches and scouts from opposing teams and the major theme with the Raptors is that at times these two guys make their team too easy to guard with the ball-stopping habits; habits that can and have to be broken. It's easier said than done yet this is a fixable issue. Both are good guys and team guys and want to win yet their style of play sometimes causes indecision by teammates. The improvement of the player and ball movement by the Raptors will lead to a much improved team. I have no doubt that if they improve this area they'll be a tough team for any opponent to defend and that's a benefit to everyone.